NIA denies political victimisation in gold smuggling case

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted that there was no political victimisation in the diplomatic baggage gold smuggling case.

Opposing the bail application of Swapna Suresh, one of the accused, the investigation agency submitted that Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had written to the Prime Minister seeking a comprehensive probe into the gold smuggling case.

The NIA was thankful to the Chief Minister for taking up the issue with the Prime Minister. Multiple agencies like NIA, Enforcement Directorate, and Customs were looking into the various aspects of the case, said Assistant Solicitor General Vijayakumar, who appeared for the agency in the court.

If at all there was any political victimisation, the Chief Minister would have raised it. The State government had suspended a senior and powerful bureaucrat from the service in connection with the case. He was also kept off the office of the Chief Minister, which was a matter of serious concern, Ms. Vijayakumar said without naming the official.

The letter written by the Chief Minister was also read out in the court by the lawyer of the investigation agency.

As the NIA dealt at length on how the gold smuggling would destabilise the economic security of the country and hence attract the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the court asked about the material evidences on record to prove that it was not just another economic offence.

The NIA submitted that the gold smuggling case could not be compared to a one-off incident where a passenger attempted to smuggle in gold. The accused had smuggled around 200kg of gold on as many as 20 occasions and with the knowledge that the smuggling would hit the economic stability of the country, the agency argued.

The counsel for the accused submitted that the agency didn’t posses any evidence to invoke the UAPA other than what was recorded in the First Information Report and the remand statements.

The NIA also submitted that it had arrested two more persons in the case, taking the total number of accused picked up in the case to 14.

The court posted the case for August 6.

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Printable version | Oct 2, 2020 3:03:22 AM |

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